Clayton hires new economic development director

Recently, our Board of Commissioners took a step towards moving economic development forward in Clayton county by hiring a deputy director who plans on undertaking many of the marketing issues residents often discuss.

Kevin Gullette brings 16 years of related experience to Clayton. He most recently served as Executive Director for the Stanly County Economic Development Commission in North Carolina, where he was responsible for the development of marketing, product development, and business retention and expansion strategies. Gullette was also the primary recruiter for new industrial and commercial development, where he successfully expanded three local industries which created over 120 new jobs and over $15 million in new investment.

“Clayton County offers so much potential for success,” says Gullette. “Home to the world’s busiest airport and the strategic logistics center for the southeast, Clayton County is the ideal place for companies looking for access into the global marketplace. I am excited and honored to be part of such a strong team of committed elected officials, development professionals and colleagues.”

What do you see as the most important aspect of improving economic development in Clayton?

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Gullette’s initial plan of attack includes developing the county’s comprehensive incentive program, establishing a formal business retention and expansion program, lead efforts for a county branding exercise which includes new strategic marketing efforts, and calling on as many local companies as possible to get more involved with Clayton and its community.

“The [BOC] is strategically moving forward on expanding the county’s economic development,” adds Public Relations Officer Jamie Carlington.  “Mr. Gullette’s experience and connections will assist in ensuring Clayton continues to grow.”

From an economic development standpoint, what would you like to see happen in Clayton County?

- By Kimberly Allen, The Clayton Talk blog

Sheriff Kem Kimbrough will be hosting a meet and greet, and would like to hear from Clayton County residents personally.  The Sheriff is welcoming county residents to come to specific Community Substations every Saturday in the months of February and March, 2011 during the hours of 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM. The first will take place this Saturday, February 5 at Harper Elementary/Sequoyah Middle (95 Valley Hill Rd., Riverdale 30274).

61 comments Add your comment

Pip

January 31st, 2011
12:07 pm

Could it be that the BOC has finally made a competent decision? Now I kno der is a God.

Willey E. Coyote

January 31st, 2011
12:13 pm

The first order of business should be to expand the commission by two seats. This will give the BOC balance.

Clayton resident

January 31st, 2011
12:20 pm

Depends on who gets elected and who’s pocket they might be in Willy. This guy looks like a good hire on paper we need all of the above and then some to improve Clayton’s image so I say welcome and good luck!

Brick House in FP

January 31st, 2011
1:16 pm

I would like to see more diversity in our county government and our State Legislative Branch of Clayton County. As it stands now, Clayton County is just another arm of Fulton and DeKalb Counties.
Clayton County will have to become a part of the State of Georgia before we can do anything to improve our county, otherwise, we will continue to be the dumping ground for Atlanta’s poverty stricken voters.
Don’t take my word for this, just look for yourself.

…..80 % percent of the Clayton County Voters should be declared as Legally Brain Dead :

Election Summary Report
Clayton County
State of Georgia General Election
November 2, 2010
Summary For Jurisdiction Wide, , All Races
Unofficial and Incomplete

GOVERNOR
Total
Number of Precincts 58
Precincts Reporting 58 100.0 %
Total Votes 59807

NATHAN DEAL (R) 9670 – 16.17%
ROY E. BARNES (D) 48235 – 80.65%
JOHN H. MONDS (L) 1828 – 3.06%
……………………………………………………………….
LT GOVERNOR
Total
Number of Precincts 58
Precincts Reporting 58 100.0 %
Total Votes 59606

L.S.CASEY CAGLE (I)(R) 10615 – 17.81%
CAROL PORTER (D) 47959 – 80.46%
DAN BARBER (L) 1011 – 1.70%
————————————————
SECRETARY OF STATE
Total
Number of Precincts 58
Precincts Reporting 58 100.0 %
Total Votes 59511

BRIAN KEMP (I) R 10267 – 17.25%
G. SINKFIELD (D) 47973 – 80.61%
DAVID CHASTAIN (L) 1204 – 2.02%
———————————————————-
US SENATOR
Total
Number of Precincts 58
Precincts Reporting 58 100.0 %
Total Votes 58631

JOHNNY ISAKSON (I) (R) 10864 – 18.53%
MICHAEL THURMOND (D) 46993 – 80.15%
CHUCK DONOVAN (L) 733 – 1.25%

———————————————————

US HOUSE 13
Total
Number of Precincts 56
Precincts Reporting 56 100.0 %
Total Votes 57518

MIKE CRANE( R) 10443 – 18.16%
DAVID SCOTT (I) D 47005 – 81.72%
———————————————
STATE HOUSE 77
Total
Number of Precincts 11
Precincts Reporting 11 100.0 %
Total Votes 9599

JAMES BROWN (R) 1074 – 11.19%
DARRYL JORDAN (I) D 8515 – 88.71%

Maddog

January 31st, 2011
3:34 pm

Two additional commisioners would be a plus. Especially if you split Singleton’s and Ralph’s Districts. They are a major reason was the county is still in decline.

CC Resident

January 31st, 2011
5:59 pm

I am so HAPPY to hear this. The guy’s credentials sound good…lets see. I’m glad he’s from somewhere else, and not another inbred politician for CC .

1.I’d like to see cleaner everything..roads, landscape, businesses ex. Tara Blvd, Upper Riv Rd, flint river rd …ALL of Forest Park
2.A better image of our county in the media.
3.new businesses, quality businesses….EVERY COMPANY SHOULDN’T ONLY OPEN UP IN GWINNETT AND ALPHARETTA.

4. Better schools, higher avg SAT scores etc

5. DIVERSITY. We have a county of black democrats….so the state of Ga which is majority republican wont help as much as they would help counties with more republican voters

6. Increased home values….better homes built….craftment style homes…etc

7. LIGHT RAIL !!!!! If you have a rail system going to Atlanta…you would attract so many new resident that are tired of living in those other overcrowded counties

8. decreased crime..

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say what?

January 31st, 2011
7:58 pm

What I would like is a better TAD expansion that does not include a Walmart and/or a Quiktrip. Walmart has driven so much competition out of the community that when community support is needed for a sponsorship our small and medium businesses cannot afford to support a worthy cause. The I-675 corridor as well as Hwy 23/42 is primed for some restaurants and a grocery store such as Publix. I have to shop in Henry County as there is a lack of services in the East Clayton area. With the amount of truck traffic in the area, and travelers using I675 bypass from 285 to I75, we should have some services. Hwy 138 is the only place that has some amenities, but you just get tired of spending in Henry county.

I would also like to see an expansion of GA technical schools INSIDE of Clayton County. why did our Economic Department miss applying for expansion approval by today, but Henry County will now get the technical college expansion? Why is this man with all of his expertise only hired as the Deputy Director? Why not the DIRECTOR position, as who we have is not serving the needs to keep Clayton County relevant in an everchanging global competitive society?

As far as having more commissioners, who is willing to pay for that extra cost and the additional infighting? It is apparent from the voting reports that many of us in Clayton County are not paying attention to what is happening in the county. No matter how many commissioners we have the problem is voter and taxpayer apathy. Seeing that cClayton has become a “absent landlord” county, no more representation on the BOC is necessary. the answer is not more government leaders, but better use of what we have in place.

Economic development has been hinged on Ole Towne Morrow and the area outside of the Archives for nearly seven years, and we(the county) have yet to benefit from these 2 developments. Now that JCP in Southlake AND the catalog store are being eliminated, what businesses are the county and commissioners working along with the realty/commercial property companies, working to bring to the area?

Good topic- just waiting for comments that are more intellectual and of value.

Common Sense

January 31st, 2011
8:37 pm

I wonder why the last deputy director left? Maybe he knows something we don’t?
<>

Common Sense

January 31st, 2011
8:39 pm

Last one out (of ClayCo), please turn off the lights……..

Just Sayin

January 31st, 2011
9:06 pm

Moving economic development forward in Clayton county by hiring a deputy director who plans on undertaking many of the marketing issues residents often discuss is a great idea and acheivement. We have to start somewhere. There are hard economical times everywhere in Georgia and nationwide. I think just because Georgia is a red state don’t mean Clayton county won’t get what is under Georgia’s Constitution due to Clayton. According to the voting data posted here, those 9 or 10 thousand republicians need to moving out and allow this county to move forward. The republician revolt will only last a season.

Brick House in FP

February 1st, 2011
1:38 am

(( say what? )) “Good topic- just waiting for comments that are more intellectual and of value.”

I’m still waiting, Clayton County is waiting, The State Of Georgia is waiting, my family is waiting, my friends is waiting, The BOC is waiting, and the folks on the Clayton Talk is waiting……….Are there any miracle workers among us ?

Brick House in FP

February 1st, 2011
1:57 am

CC Resident: “1.I’d like to see cleaner everything..roads, landscape, businesses ex. Tara Blvd, Upper Riv Rd, flint river rd …ALL of Forest Park”

Forest Park is just fine; Has long as it remains in the condition that it is, we won’t have to worry about a major take over by outside elements.
The new breed of bad elements, prefers to be around the newer homes and the wealth of the county. The people in Forest Park would rather keep their hidden wealth more private, to discourage crime.
The people in Forest Park also has a Gun Range, Gun Shows, a lot respect for The Second Amendment,and Our State Laws; Unlike the rest of Clayton County.

Forest Park is just fine, the way it is….

Focus Group

February 1st, 2011
8:00 am

say what….you are correct. The present director spends his time with the aviation museum and assorted pet projects. He talks and dreams. Unfortunately, he has not brought anything of value to the county. Maybe the “Deputy” position is to help get Gulette comfortable and phase out the unproductive current director. We can only hope.

WTF?

February 1st, 2011
8:32 am

“The people in Forest Park would rather keep their hidden wealth more private, to discourage crime.”

THANK YOU SO MUCH for that intellectual and valuable comment letting the “outside elements” know there is wealth to be had in Forest Park. They probably had no idea until you mentioned it. I’m sure the thugs will start making plans to invade since they have guns too and never cared whether theirs are legal under the 2nd amendment (SMH!)

ANYWAY! I think this is the best move the board has made in a long time. Economic develoopment has been stagnant and needed a good hard push in not only the right direction but a BRAND NEW direction.

I was really discouraged when Randall Touisaant left Clayton’s ED because he had great vision and foresight, our loss was definitely Forsyth’s gain. But what I think I like best about this new guy is he isn’t from around here, he can bring a fresh perspective to the game. Let’s just hope our esteemed elected officials and other old schoolers (i.e. good ole boys) don’t block his path at every turn.

As far as adding more commissioners, we first need proof that having 5 is worthwhile before adding any more. And I’m not only talking about the current group. Clayton’s BOC has been a self serving mess for at least a decade, probably longer. I wouldn’t trust adding one more seat because we can’t necessarily trust Clayton voters to vote logically (regardless of political party) or that those already in power wouldnn’t try to intimidate them early on.

Revalator

February 1st, 2011
8:46 am

Why has TITLE PAWN become the signature business in CC. Why has Publix closed two stores on major thoroughfares in the county (Tara/138 & 85/138) ? We should be VERY concerned. Long Horn………..GONE! Chicken wings and ghetto Chinese ( No Peter Chang here) abound. Is Southlake Mall going the way of Union Station. I never thought I’d see the day when Old Nat’l Hwy/ Flat Shoals area looked better than most commercial strips in CC.

Pip

February 1st, 2011
9:17 am

Hey Just Sayin
(Mr Dowell) we have seen just what the Democrats have done to this county – first by the white – good ole boys – who sold out out county to the highest bidder – and now the black leaders – also Democrat – that thing the US govt owes them cradle to grave living expenses. Yeah – that Democrat party rule sure has worked out for Clayton. If we do not stop it now the rest of the country will look like Clayton county – economically depressed and living off the rest of society – until it collapses under its own weight . Wow, what a future vision. Shame on you Glenn.

The Plutocrats

February 1st, 2011
9:50 am

The BOC has acted. Just accept what they have given you and stop wanting so much. Just settle. Down.

2DPoint

February 1st, 2011
10:20 am

Having a new economic development director means nothing unless there’s a plan to move the county forward and that the citizens have a clear picture of what that is and where it’s going. What does Clayton County have to offer besides it’s ideal physical location giving way to Metro Atlanta? There is some stuff happening here but it’s almost confined to neighborhood knowledge. Problem areas include blighted structures, lack of integrity in zoning, disengaged public, struggling school system and questionable competency in local government leaders. In these challenging economic times, who in their right mind would want to invest in Clayton County? Home investors of course!
They’re buying up foreclosed and distressed homes at low, low prices and renting them out because most people can’t qualify to buy. Unless this new economic development director has a solution for this trend, his success on this job is dead on arrival.

Forest Park Resident

February 1st, 2011
10:40 am

Forest Park is just fine…lol. Forest park needs better looking plazas..rds….HOUSES, HOUSES, HOUSES…maybe a few decent restaurants…really the whole thing needs to be redone. Its not the most attractive place for new residents or business.

Brick House in FP

February 1st, 2011
3:10 pm

Forest Park Resident; We need what we had in the past. We need Home Improvement Stores, Hardware Stores, and hard working residents, with a lot of self pride and good natured honesty.
I think that it’s time to have our own movie theater again, but, we should already know why it can’t happen.
Compared with the rest of the county, Forest Park residents has a lot to be thankful for, without asking for anymore.
If you desire anymore, Do It Yourself; That’s what I did.

Brick House in FP

February 1st, 2011
3:52 pm

WTF? :”THANK YOU SO MUCH for that intellectual and valuable comment letting the “outside elements” know there is wealth to be had in Forest Park. They probably had no idea until you mentioned it.”

WTF?; You are most welcome; With pride, comes happiness.

Brick House in FP

February 1st, 2011
4:19 pm

Things to do in Clayton County :

Well Hidden Secret Places In Clayton County !!

I’m Not Telling;

That’s How We Lost Our Beach !!!!

Oscar DoubleAction Knight

February 1st, 2011
4:52 pm

If the real truth could ever be known about Clayton County, you would probably find that all of this county is built on nothing but a big fat lie. You would also probably find out that Clayton County has turn into, nothing but one big land scam, to seize property at very cheap low prices.
From all appearances; Our County Government appears to be nothing but a front,to maintain an image for the residents. Only in comedies and horror stories, would we find elected officials like we have now.This has to be nothing but a put on; Sanford and his son could do better than these clowns.

Start by building a Temple of Justice, building a state of the art prison facility, provide section 8 housing for the poor and underprivileged, wait for Atlanta to demolish their government housing projects, and throw out the welcome matte.

Elect incompetent officials to lead the county through the primrose path to self destruction, discredit the school system,let corruption go unchecked, bring in the media to advertise the crime and our shady officials, and then watch as our property values plummet to nothing.

Quite a scam; If you don’t believe me, look around and you will see the proof of what I’m talking about.

Don’t blame the plummeting economy for Clayton County’s hardships; Blockbusting has been going on, in this county since the ’90s.

Lets start off by talking about how our Clayton County began taking a down turn for the worse.

Do Your Own Math On Clayton County, Ga. and Add Up The Totals :

Start off by building a Temple of Justice
+
Build a state of the art prison facility
+
Rezone the county for apartment dwellings
+
Provide section 8 housing for the poverty stricken residents
+
Start Blockbusting the neighborhoods
+
Wait for Atlanta to demolish their government housing projects
+
Throw out the welcome matte for our new residents
+
Sponsor Voter Registration For Our New Residents
+
Watch the rising crime rates
+
Elect incompetent officials
+
Discredit the school system
+
Let corruption go unchecked
+
Bring in the media to advertise the crime and our shady officials
+
Watch the Business Closings go unnoticeable
+
And watch our property values plummet to nothing..

What do you have remaining ?

80% of the Voters that Welcomes the new changes in our county.

Mr. D.

February 1st, 2011
5:17 pm

Ironic that the person who disparaged the housing stock of Clayton County made a direct cut at Forest Park. Most homes around Forest Park, while from 50 to 75 years old, are brick. This is also true of older areas in Lake City and Morrow. That is much more than I can say about the flop houses thrown up in the western and southern edges if our in the 80’s in 90’s in places like Point South, Riverdale, and Lovejoy/ Hampton. The homes of the Forest Park/ Lake City/ Morrow area will probably still be standing when those other area’s houses are dust.

Enough Said

February 1st, 2011
6:13 pm

The blog vote shows that the majority voters on this subject do not understand the role of the economic development department or the work of the deputy director. The dept. has nothing to do with the school system or housing.

Brick House in FP

February 1st, 2011
6:30 pm

Mr. D.; Our house in Forest Park is like new, because, we poured a lot money, sweat, and time in rebuilding it to make it our dream home.We never took vacations, we worked on our home for over 30 years.
The first we did was to gut the entire inside of our home, brought in new topsoil, installed a pool, game room, a garage, and cut down the overgrowth of trees in our neighborhood. It took $15,000. dollars, just cut down the trees.
In the end; We would do good to clear $5,000. dollars from the sale of our home.

Hmmm

February 1st, 2011
6:38 pm

Housing and schools aren’t direct responsibility of the dept. of economic development or deputy director but anyone who owns property they can’t sell knows that home values and a quality school system not only brings in better quality residents, but also businesses. Its all connected.

Maddog

February 1st, 2011
9:01 pm

The problem has been stated on here several times, VOTER APATHY! Too many people are not “taxpayers,” they rent, so they don’t have anything to be worried about. Clayton County is a bedroom community and is suffering because of that. Our state reps need to get on it and force Atlanta to give up some airport money. Otherwise, we don’t have much of a tax base.

Just Sayin

February 1st, 2011
10:35 pm

Pip, economical development is good! Most of the residents want it. Just like Oscar DoubleAction Knight told you earlier, “the writing has been on the wall for 15 or more years”! Written by some of your favorite local politicians, before they hoodwinked you into buying property you’ll never be able to sell for a substanital profit! You got “Duped”. Now, you want to blame the new elected officials. Maybe I didn’t explain it to you very good earlier. “According to the voting data posted here, you 9 or 10 thousand white republicians need to moving out and allow this county to move forward. You guys got left behind with bad real estate information years ago. You lost! The republician revolt will only last a season. Take your losses and go and have fun, before you be pushing up daisies! HaHahahaha.

M. Haynes

February 2nd, 2011
12:35 am

Clayton county lost two more business. Eatza Pizza in Morrow and Costco are closing! I love shopping at Costco. Wait, make that three, JC Penny outlet is closing as well.

Brick House in FP

February 2nd, 2011
1:44 am

Hmmm :”but also businesses. Its all connected”

I found that the failure of the Home Improvement and Hardware Stores is the first signs of a failing residential area, the other is For Sale signs, and then the foreclosures for those buyers that bought the homes and couldn’t afford them.

Focus Group

February 2nd, 2011
8:01 am

Economic development is impacted by schools, housing and assorted “reputation” items. It is also impacted by an nonperforming economic developer. Talk and no action. Loves to spend our money. All he has accomplished is that remodeled house on 54 Hwy. How much did that cost? Could he not just have a simple already paid for office? And now he has a “deputy director”? How does he talk people into such things but still can’t do what he is paid to do? Lucky boy, that one!

Brick House in FP

February 2nd, 2011
9:08 am

Maddog : “Our state reps need to get on it and force Atlanta to give up some airport money.”

Atlanta has our State Legislators in their hip pockets; Check out the voting records of our Legislators and their companionship from the City of Atlanta & Fulton County; The same thing can be said about members of our BOC.

WTH

February 2nd, 2011
9:20 am

Does the sheriff think people are stupid. Now the mini-precincts on our campuses are mobile campaign offices. BOE whose zoomin who?!!! This must stop! This BOE is a total sellout to the justice system!

2Dpoint

February 2nd, 2011
9:54 am

Thanks to all of you who responded to the narrow-minded comments that economic development has nothing to do with housing. In Clayton County it’s all relevant. DoubleAction, you hit a lot of nails on the head. I too believe that Clayton County became a stable for herding “cattle” and looks like our stock has been suffering since the early 2000’s. Plenty of corruption was in play that got us to where we are today and now the new generation of thugs posing as government leaders are feeding at the trough. The big question is when we’re going to get tired of it and dump their butts on the streets. You know – like follow Egypt’s example.

Investigator

February 2nd, 2011
10:15 am

M. Haynes

You may be hearing from Costco shortly. Just got off the phone with them. They are not closing, and they are not happy campers after hearing about this rumor posted here.

Brick House in FP

February 2nd, 2011
3:15 pm

…Make Clayton County a multicultural part of history, by redesigning the landscape to fit with our history.

Downtown Jonesboro is already half way there, with their pre-civil war theme.

The Plutocrats

February 2nd, 2011
6:52 pm

Thanks, Investigator for ONE positive bit of information in this weeks’ blog.

Rex Mex

February 2nd, 2011
7:51 pm

Hiring a new economic development director with this guy’s resume IS a positive! Too bad most on this blog would rather dwell on the negatives. No matter, we’ll continue to move on without you.

HLS

February 2nd, 2011
10:26 pm

Jus Sayin – So the last 15 years or so – with all the major change in demographics in Clayton have been a plus in your estimation. The rising crime rate -the lower property values – the school debacle of the last 10 years. Just more poor dumb schmucks to lead around by the nose – – crying about the man. With that logic – one wonders how you were able to amass the sum it took to get that Bentley. Oh yeah – that money came from the stupid taxpayers. and laws for minority business owners – whether competent or not.

Brick House in FP

February 3rd, 2011
1:35 am

Rex Mex :” No matter, we’ll continue to move on without you.”

Rex; That is how our problems began, with everyone moving. Resumes are usually exaggerated by the author that wrote it. Show us the prove and then cash the check.
I usually don’t get paid until I finish the job.

Focus Group

February 3rd, 2011
7:46 am

But Rex Mex, he is not the NEW economic developer. He is the DEPUTY director. We are still paying for the ineffective director. The new guy is just more cost. When will we see a return on that investment?

2DPoint

February 3rd, 2011
10:05 am

Some of us might remember the basics of watching our parents as they got ready to clean the house.
Before they put out anything new or good to give the house a beautiful appearance, they swept the floors and removed the trash. Remember? HOUSECLEANING! In other words it does not good to shower new talent with praise when he’ll be operating under the same old conditions. Time will tell how much good will come of it.

Tell The Truth

February 3rd, 2011
11:18 am

Thanks for posting this Karen. I’ll reserve any opinions until he’s been given an opportunity to change things.

Brick House in FP

February 3rd, 2011
11:40 am

Something to ask yourself; Who has lost the most in Clayton County during the past 20 years ?

For those of us that came into this county, during 90’s, you have seen very little of what Clayton County was like during it’s hey day. Clayton County is nothing compared to it’s former glory and to achieve this goal, it took a lot of good hard working residents to support the need for businesses in our county. Clayton County became the shopping, entertainment, recreational and family living mecca on the entire southside of Atlanta.
We had visitors coming from Fulton, DeKalb, Henry, Fayette, and Spalding Counties to enjoy and take advantage of the our offerings, that no other county could offer.
Things began to change, during the early 90’s, when the bad elements starting showing aggressive behavior and displaying rude conduct in our county, leaving no stones unturned on the residents and our visitors; Soon the bad elements and their rude conduct started to take on the new image to what our county was to become and what it is now.
Did Rome ever return from it’s former glory ?

jim

February 4th, 2011
3:51 am

Just curious, Is Kevin Gullette White or African American? This is a very important question.

Focus Group

February 4th, 2011
7:47 am

White guy. Click on his highlighted name in the second paragraph up top.

Lets See What Happens

February 4th, 2011
7:56 am

Looks like John Walker plead guilty. Now that makes him a convicted felon. Let’s see what happens to him. Does his buddies at the top keep a convicted felon in their good ol boy club or do they terminate his contract. With his position at the school system and his position as a board member at the clayton co housing authority, he sits in the same position that allowed him to go to Judge Walker. He is the decision maker of bids and solicitations that come into those two entities. Do you honestly think he does not do as he attemted to do?

The Plutocrats

February 4th, 2011
8:43 am

The economic directors have changed their own economic outlook. So there.